Political theorist Quentin Skinner to deliver lecture on freedom

Athens, Ga. – Quentin Skinner, one of the world’s preeminent political theorists and intellectual historians, will address a timely question, “How Should We Think about Freedom?”, when he delivers the annual George S. Parthemos Lecture on Oct. 17 at 11 a.m. in Dean Rusk Hall’s Larry Walker Room on the University of Georgia campus.

During his Oct. 16-17 residency at UGA, hosted by the School of Public and International Affairs’ department of political science, Skinner will deliver a public lecture, teach an undergraduate class, interact with faculty and meet with a reading group of graduate and Honors students who have been meeting weekly to discuss his work.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for students, faculty, and the public to engage with one of the leading scholars of the past half century,” said John Maltese, head of the department of political science.

“Skinner is a true rock star in the world of political theory,” Maltese said. “He is an expert on Hobbes and Machiavelli, but much of his work focuses on issues of contemporary relevance, such as concepts of liberty. He has influenced a broad range of disciplines: political science, history, philosophy, law, and-through his work on rhetoric-English. I’ve never been prouder to bring anyone to our campus.”

Skinner taught for more than 40 years at Cambridge University’s Christ College and is known as one of the founders of the “Cambridge School” of intellectual history. He also spent four years at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study. He has returned to Princeton this academic year, serving as the Laurance S. Rockefeller Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University Center for Human Values. He is also the Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London.

Described by Times Higher Education as a scholar “renowned for examining past ideas in pursuit of disconcerting truths about the present,” Skinner has earned honorary degrees from a host of the world’s leading universities, including the University of Chicago, Harvard and Oxford. He is a member of the British Academy and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has delivered the Gauss Seminars in Criticism at Princeton, the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Harvard, the Carlyle Lectures at Oxford and the Clark Lectures at Cambridge.

Skinner received the 2001 Benjamin E. Lippincott Award from the American Political Science Association for his two-volume book, “Foundations of Modern Political Thought” (Cambridge, 1978). The Lippincott Award is given every other year to a living political theorist for a work of exceptional quality that maintains a place of particular significance at least 15 years after it was written. Skinner also received the 2007 David Easton Award from APSA’s Foundations of Political Thought Section for his three-volume book, “Visions of Politics” (Cambridge, 2002). His book, “Shakespeare and Rhetorical Invention,” is due from Oxford University Press next year. In addition to books on Thomas Hobbes and Machiavelli, he has edited Machiavelli’s “The Prince.”

The Parthemos Lecture honors the late political science professor George S. Parthemos, who taught at UGA from 1953 until his death in 1984. During his career at the university, Parthemos served as an Alumni Foundation Distinguished Professor, head of the department of political science,and vice president for instruction. His wife, Georgia Parthemos, who passed away last year, helped to assure the long-term success of this lecture series, which began in 1987.

For more information on the School of Public and International Affairs, see http://spia.uga.edu/. For more information on the department of political science, see http://polisci.uga.edu/.